I just want to say

I just want to say
that it doesn’t hurt much
when a crow pecks you
accidentally
trying to get the doggie treat
you are holding out for it
while sitting on the park bench
surrounded by crows
regarding you like acolytes
waiting for words of enlightenment.
It is scarier feeding a bagel to a juvenile seagull
than a snack to a crow.
This is especially true if you grew up
getting pecked by chickens all the time.
I just want to say
my thing with the crows
is not going unnoticed at the park,
a young family walked by
and referred to me
as “Professor Rabe”.
I just want to say
that I am still sadder
and more broken up by
my mother’s death
than I had expected.
But the crows help.
If someone asks me about them
I will say, “I have to come and feed them,
they know where I work and
come and shit on my balcony otherwise,”
but that is not the reason.
I know it’s just crows and doggie treats,
but it’s a comfort.

Calibration

I don’t know if you do this.
Maybe you do this. Maybe it’s universal:
measure all other memories by this one memory you have.
Not necessarily a dramatic or rambunctious one.
For me it is the time I sat in the bamboo patch next to my uncle’s junk pile.
The main quality is one of peace. I was about 3-4 years old, so not in school yet.
No obligations. Summer. Warm – I had a beagle pal cuddling and watching out for me.
I was wearing bib overalls and a felt hat.
Watching chickens, those nourishing animals, scratch in the dirt.
Watching their shadows, and the shadows of the bamboo, playing in the light.
Listening to the sounds the chickens made.
No other humans to make happy or proud or otherwise perform for.
Just the peace. Lots of time. Animals. Plants. Smells. Interesting light.

The Incredible Two-Headed Man

Exterior: Modest house. Camera zooms through wall into the
Interior: Combination living room/scientist’s lair. A two-headed man is seated on the sofa. Across the room, a door opens onto a kitchen, where something bubbles. Theremin music emits from an open laptop.

Right Head: I have an idea for a toilet story.
Left Head (glances up sharply from a psychology book): No.
Right Head: A funny toilet story.
Left Head: There are no funny toilet stories.
Right Head (chuckles): This one is.
Left Head: No.
Right Head: The punch line is…
Left Head: I don’t wanna hear it. Nobody does.
Right Head: Colonoscopy…
Left Head: I’m serious. How does your mind work?
Right Head: Colored toilet bowl freshener balls…
Left Head (Holding hands over ears) Lalalalala.
Right Head: What is your problem?
Left Head: You mean your problem. Toilet stories are never funny. They are cringy at best, and usually merely gross. No one is funny on the toilet. Not the Marx Brothers, not Mr. Bean, not Monty Python. And what do you think people visualize when you tell one? We are 61 years old. No one wants to imagine us on a toilet.
Right Head: Hm. Good point.
Left Head: And plus, your last blog post involved a burst sewer pipe.
Right Head: Hm.
(Silence. Left Head reopens book.)
Right Head: I’m still going in for the colonoscopy tho.
Left Head (Sighs. Recloses book, gazes up at ceiling)

Rainy day

It’s raining. The light outside is remarkable. Dark sky, with brighter spots lighting various deciduous trees turning gold at various rates. A glossy wet crow stands on the balcony railing outside my office. I go outside and place dog treats along the railing. Before I’m even done, I glance over my shoulder and there’s another crow 2 feet away with a beakful of dog treats hurrying me up.
Hang on a sec, I have to go back out and refill the dog treats.
Ok.
The problem with life is eventually the crows shit all over your balcony and someone says, hey Mig stop feeding the crows they’re shitting all over the balcony.
Hang on, they’re cawing at me for more treats. BRB
Thing is, though, it’s also nice to tell yourself you know the crows know they can count on you.
Maybe the rain will wash the shit away.

The seven things successful people don’t want you to know!

  1. 3:50 AM give up, go take pee, look at clock, wonder if you’ll get back to sleep before alarm goes off
  2. 5:00 AM wife shakes you, says “your alarm” which would be unnecessary, since you’ve been awake since 3:50, except you can no longer hear the first couple higher-pitched cycles of the alarm so, ok. You turn it off and get up.
  3. Let in cats. Feed cats. Close 2 doors so sensitive cat is isolated from the less-sensitive cats and can eat in peace. Turn on coffee machine. Open windows to air out downstairs.
  4. Go check the trap line. It’s still dark. One dish of beer has a few slugs. On the way to the other 2 dishes over by the echinacea a slug somehow gets into your Birkenstock. You do the “A slug got into my Birkenstock” dance but he holds fast so you take off the sandal and flick him into one of the beer traps, kerplunk. A dozen or so of his buddies are in there too.
  5. That’s fewer than usual lately, maybe you’re making headway. Maybe they’re hunkered down waiting for the hot weather to pass. Maybe they’re on the tomatoes.
  6. You’ll never know cause you have to go eat breakfast (slice of rye bread, butter, ham, Greek yogurt with blueberries + honey)
  7. One cat wants out. No not that door the other door. Then another cat wants out, but not the door the first cat went out, the other door.
  8. You tiptoe around while you do all this so your wife can sleep.
  9. But she gets up to make sure you don’t forget to throw lettuce and blueberries out the window for the tortoise.
  10. Throughout all this you have the idea of distance in your head. Maybe you had a dream. Distance between galaxies is the same as distance inside atoms, between the nucleus and the electrons, it’s mostly empty space, you think. And yet we find each other.

On Hearing

Man: (enters kitchen in the morning)
Woman: (looks up from phone) The cave bears were vegetarian.
Man: (Blinks, turns to leave) Hang on, I don’t have my hearing aids in yet.
Man: (Returns with hearing aids in place) Okay, I beg your pardon, what did you say?
Woman: The cave bears were vegetarian.
Man: Ok.

Two men on a windy day, hearing aids, crows and explosive chemicals: a play in one act

Man: Hello?
Other Man: Psshht weee bzz pssshshhh delivery flmflmflm psshhhh bzz.
Man: (Throws dog snacks to two crows)
Man: Sorry, what?
Other Man: (A little plaintive) Psshhh bzz I’m woooom flmflmflm bzzz (delivery company name) bzzz home?
Man: (to the crows) Here you fuckers.
Other Man: ???
Man: I’m terribly sorry, I’m outside and it’s very windy. Would you mind repeating one more time?
Other Man: I’m bzzz pssshhhweee (delivery company name) delivery at (recites man’s address) no one home?
Man: Ah, gotcha. No, no one is home. You can just leave the parcel by the door.
Man: Here’s your last handful, you greedy wankers.
Man: Or, you know what, you’re at the house now?
Other Man: Yes (recites address again)
Man: There’s a terrace behind the house. Just put the parcel on the table.
Hunting dog walking by on leash: (Sniffs man’s dogfood pocket)
Man: Hey fuck off buddy.
Other Man: There is a table. On the table.
Man: Yes. There is, like, a little roof over the table. And the item in the package is not sensitive even if it does rain (just keep it away from open flame if you know what I mean) (and don’t drop it) just put it on the table (cats will pee on it but I’m throwing away the box anyhow).
Other Man: Okay.
Man: Thanks! Have a nice day!